Support Land Health and New AgrariansDonate today to help us leverage $20,000 from the Paul H. Johanson Fund
New Agrarian apprentices learn to troubleshoot electric fence at 2019 apprentice orientation.
Albuquerque Wildlife Federation volunteers and others learn about erosion control in arid rangelands and build structures to slow water during storms.
George Whitten of San Juan Ranch, CO teaches Mechanics 101 at 2019 apprentice orientation.
Ann Adams of Holistic Management International teaches 2019 apprentices some basics of ecosystem management.
Double the value of your donation
The Paul H. Johanson Fund has made a challenge grant to support Quivira’s 2019 land health workshops and New Agrarian apprenticeships, matching donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000. Make a pledge by July 15 to help us meet the challenge!
With your support, we’ll raise $40,000 to mentor beginning ranchers and farmers, and offer ranchers and other land managers hands-on, on-the-ground workshops on regenerative techniques to restore and increase range and grasslands health.
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More about what your donation supports
Land Health Workshops
Quivira’s Education and Outreach program offers landowners and managers access to the resources, tools, and community support necessary for regenerative stewardship and restoration. In 2019, we will offer eight land health workshops on topics including erosion control, biological monitoring, pasture management, soil health assessment, plant identification, native seed harvesting, and more. Workshop locations include ranches and farms, public and tribal lands, and Quivira’s Red Canyon Reserve near Magdalena, New Mexico.
With your support, the Quivira community will take action to improve the quality of western rangelands, including regenerated soil ecosystems and increased carbon sequestration, improved surface water conservation, restored plant and wildlife diversity, and the development of appropriate grazing strategies to protect grasslands and their biodiversity, while meeting the needs of ranchers and farmers.
Red Canyon Ranch: This year we will offer two workshops for land managers at Red Canyon Ranch on a variety of techniques to reduce erosion and increase ground cover and wildlife habitat. Topics will also include ways to understand and assess the biological assets of rangelands. Quivira has operated Red Canyon Ranch as a living laboratory since its donation to our coalition sixteen years ago, endeavoring to demonstrate good rangeland stewardship. Activities have included land health workshops, experiments in dryland watershed restoration, and support for pollinators. With the help of committed volunteer managers, we have built and maintained watering structures and carefully monitored vegetation.
Valle Vidal: On the weekend of August 2-4, we will offer a three-day field workshop along the Holman Creek, a tributary of Comanche Creek. We collaborate closely with the Comanche Creek working group to assess wetland restoration potential and monitor and maintain new and existing erosion control structures in the Comanche Creek Watershed on the Valle Vidal. Last year the New Mexico Environment Department awarded Quivira a two-year grant for slope wetland restoration using keyline design, and we will document and share these techniques in a half-day workshop at our 2019 REGENERATE conference and as an open-source technical guidebook.
Ranches and Ranchers: In 2019, Quivira will work closely with ranchers in New Mexico and Colorado to plan and implement restoration and monitoring projects. Western rangelands—which comprise grasslands, forests, riparian areas, and a diversity of critical wildlife habitat—are an essential component of the rural West’s ecological, economic, and social fabric. Ranchers play an essential role in the stewardship of these and many other invaluable resources, and in rural communities they are the leaders of collaborative conservation initiatives. When we work on private lands, we endeavor to gather and disseminate critical lessons learned in order to help others achieve and maintain land and watershed health. In this way, each of our land health workshops disseminates regenerative practices within a local neighborhood and sends new understanding into the broader region.
New Agrarian Apprenticeships
Quivira is committed to supporting holistically minded agrarian mentors who are sharing critical knowledge and skills with the next generation of ranchers and farmers, as well as motivated apprentices who have chosen careers in regenerative agriculture. Investment and partnership in the New Agrarian program supports agricultural leaders who are stewarding working land and rural communities.
Supporting the next generation of ranchers and farmers will require much from us and from our partners in this work. Your support will help us build on past successes to further the development of the New Agrarian apprenticeship program.
The past year has been another exciting period of growth for the New Agrarian Program. We have increased our partnerships from seven ranches and farms to fifteen, and in 2019 we have enrolled sixteen apprentices who are receiving valuable hands-on, on-the-ground training, working side-by-side with mentors who are seasoned experts in regenerative ranching and farming.
Through our partnership with Holistic Management International, we enrich and expand apprentices’ on-the-ground skills training with equally important classroom work. Apprentices participate in a weekly webinar to learn from certified educators about whole ranch and farm planning, financial management, marketing, business planning, and biological monitoring. Mentors work with their apprentices to make coursework relevant to their daily, hands-on tasks and help them understand the financial underpinnings of decision making—from basic functions like calculating how much to budget for fuel to more complicated planning processes, such as estimating the long-term business effects of adding new enterprises.
We also continue to enlist mentors for 2020 and beyond, and have added staff as we expand the program in current states—New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, California—and further into the Northern Great Plains states. Our online mentor training program extends to producers outside NAP who are considering bringing on apprentices or interns. Along with Career Connection, our semi-annual agricultural job fair, this program supports mentors who do not fit neatly into the structured apprenticeship model but who are nevertheless able to offer valuable training opportunities.
NAP’s annual activities are important, but we know that our greatest success extends beyond each apprenticeship season to the legacy we create in the field. NAP graduates have gone on to become successful agrarians, mentors, and leaders in the regenerative agriculture movement. One example is Amber Reed, who apprenticed with Julie Sullivan and George Whitten at San Juan Ranch in 2009 and with Becca and Dan James at James Ranch Artisan Cheese in 2010. Amber now manages the Farm at Woods Hill in New Hampshire, supplying pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, and chicken to the restaurant, Woods Hill Table. Here is what she has to say about her NAP education:
My time as a Quivira apprentice was intense both professionally and personally. There’s nothing like learning to move a stubborn animal and to fight your own impatience at the same time. It’s also pretty great when you realize that you have gotten better at something against all odds. These days, I manage an absolute maze of land, animals, crew members, guests, owners, and chefs. I’d never be able to do this without learning to be a hell of a planner from George and Julie or being totally organized and keeping track of a million serious details like Dan and Becca.